Critics say higher speed limits sacrificing safety

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois could soon join the nearly three dozen states that have raised speed limits to 70 mph or higher since Congress scrapped federal limits in 1995.

The wave of legislation has safety advocates concerned that a basic message about the hazards of high speeds has gotten lost even as people become more aware of the dangers of drunken driving and even texting behind the wheel.

Thirty-four states have boosted speed limits to at least 70 mph in a trend that, according to some studies, has corresponded with an increase in road deaths.

Gov. Pat Quinn has until Monday to sign or veto legislation raising the limit on rural interstates in Illinois from 65 mph to 70 mph.

The Illinois State Police and Quinn's transportation chief, Ann Schneider, are against it.

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